Staring at the Sun With Goldie

May 20, 2012 12:27 am

First day. Disheartened by the expanse of big box stores surrounding our hotel, we headed west, towards the sign on the mountains above Juarez that reads: LA BIBLIA ES LA VERDAD. LEELA. (The Bible is the Truth. Read It.) We pulled off the highway and hit Alameda, the northern border of the Chamizal neighborhood. The entire city is pretty dead on Sundays, but the peeling, boarded-up buildings on Alameda had a ghostly, Wild West look.

On our way downtown we found Goldie’s bar, a hole-in-the-wall covered in pictures of Marilyn Monroe. We stopped in for a beer and were served by Goldie herself, who made us goat tacos and then dragged us back outside to watch the solar eclipse. We kept running back out to stare at the sun, then staggering inside, dizzy, until some guys at an auto shop next door brought over a handful of welding masks. You could see the eclipse perfectly through the masks, but they made the sky look black and the sun look alien green. It was beautiful.

People didn’t speak much English at Goldie’s, but they were welcoming, and got pretty talkative as the night wore on and they found out we could muster a little Spanish. We stayed for more beers than we’d planned, and then made our way back through the sprawl, still a little dizzy from the sun.


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